First Aid Kit
Be prepared for small emergencies
by Linda Coffman
Life's little bumps
Before I could fully explain how I
scraped my knee, the ship's nurse smiled and pointed to several
baskets of supplies on her desk when I appeared in the
infirmary. I left with several adhesive bandages, a packet of
Neosporin cream, and the advice that swimming in one of the ship's
salt water pools would promote healing.
Over the years, I've stubbed my
toes, toppled down stairs, and experienced any number of other
clumsy little accidents, not to mention nasty cuts on coral reefs
and blisters from 'stylish' shoes. Fortunately, most of the time my
injuries were minor. Unfortunately, they didn't all happen within
close proximity of the ships' medical centers. As a result, I've
learned to be prepared at all times with basic items for first aid.
My tote bag always contains a few adhesive bandages and a small
bottle of waterless antibacterial hand sanitizer, which can also be
used to clean small cuts.
For all around care, I've put
together a kit of first aid and emergency items that I never leave
Cruise Diva's Travel First Aid
- adhesive bandages
- first aid antibacterial cream
- waterless antibacterial hand
- aspirin or non-aspirin pain
- anti-nausea medication
- anti-diarrhea medication
- antacid tablets
- seasickness remedy
- zipper-top plastic bags or ice
- dental adhesive
- prescription medications
Even those of us without dentures
may have several caps and fillings. It's rare that a shipboard
medical center features a resident dentist, so a small container of
dental adhesive or special dental repair kit is handy. A temporary
repair can mean the difference between discomfort and relief from
extreme temperature sensitivity until a dentist is available in port.
Another condition to consider is
edema, the accumulation of excess fluid in body tissues. It's a very
common condition, particularly after long airplane flights and while
cruising in hot, humid climates. Swollen ankles and feet are
regular complaints and preventative measures are called for. During
pre-cruise flights, drink plenty of water while avoiding caffeine
and alcoholic beverages; walk around the plane every hour; and wear
special compression stockings (available from
Should swelling still develop, raise your feet and apply an
ice-filled zipper-top plastic bag for relief. Sleeping with elevated
feet helps as well—try putting a folded blanket or life vest under
the mattress. From the ship's spa, Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel
does wonders for swollen ankles. In addition, when applied to the
temples, it also clears sinus congestion and eases headache pain.
- Contact lens wearers should pack
an extra pair.
- All medications and first aid
supplies should be hand carried—do not pack them in checked
- Prescription medicine should be
in its original container.
- Always have enough medicine on
hand for a couple extra days in case of travel delays when
Rockin' the Boat
The cause of mal de mer and how to overcome it.
— The ship's Sick
Bay. You hope you won't need it but it's comforting to know you can
depend on it, if only for a bandage.